Secret Message Card
Apr 26th, 2011 by Craftylocks


I was looking around for some fun card making techniques suitable for children and this one intrigued me. It looked very confusing and complicated but if you follow the steps it really does work – the secret of how it works is in the weaving.

This post must have the most photos of any that I have done! I am not going to check them all to make sure, but it sure feels like a lot – but for good reason – they will help make it really easy to follow the steps and understand how it works. All the techniques used are nice and simple, but the final card is a bit like magic – a very cool paper craft for children.

Start with two pieces of photocopy size paper in two different colors. Fold one piece of paper with three folds into a concertina as pictured here.

Cut slots along the center fold, the cut should go to the next fold, we did four cuts.

They were not measured or evenly spaced but if you like to be accurate you could measure before cutting.

Cut two strips of paper from the other piece of paper. The strips of paper should be the same width as one of the folded sections on the first piece, so that is quarter of the width. Weave the paper strips in and out of the slots.

Fold the card together.

You will be able to carefully pull the card apart along the center fold – the woven strips and slots enable it to be opened along the center fold.

It looks as though it is solid, but it really does open. But you may just have to do it to see what happens!

It opens all the way and hides the part that was open before.

Cut out some tabs and attach them to the part of the card that does not have any weaving.

This will help the recipient work out how to open the card – you can also write ‘pull’ on them to be extra helpful.

Open the card along the center fold again.

Write the first part of your message.

Open the card out and write the hidden part of the message.

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Jar of Appreciation
Jan 1st, 2011 by Craftylocks

This is a lovely craft to make for your parent, grandparent or teacher to let them know how much you love and appreciate them. It can also be adapted to be a thank you jar for a friend, a memories jar for a baby as it grows or even a jar with jokes or words of wisdom written on the strips of paper. I love this type of gift because it gives you the opportunity to say all the things you would like the special recipient to know but don’t always get the chance to say. Best of all, it is fun and easy to make too.

To make this gift you need a glass jar with a lid, some glue, colored paper, pen or marker, ribbon, scissors and letters to spell out your label. Our jar is labeled with ”I Love You Mum”.
Stick the letters that spell out your label on the outside of the jar. These letters have been cut from an old magazine but you could use alphabet stickers instead.

Cut the colored paper into narrow strips, wide enough to write a message on. Write your special messages on the strips of paper. For example, finish the line “I Love You Mum” on the outside of the jar by writing on the strip “… because you make me yummy dinners” or “… because you give me the best cuddles”.


Roll the strips around the pencil so they curl and then pop inside the jar. Do as many strips as it take to fill the jar. Put the lid on and tie the ribbon over the lid. If you don’t have a jar with a lid you can place a piece of fabric over the top and tie it with a ribbon instead.


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My Mothers Day Cards
May 9th, 2010 by Craftylocks

The cards my gorgeous children designed and made for me!

mothers-day-2010_iTheir was much closed doors and secret creating going on in the lead up to Mothers Day at our house. I was banned from certain areas of the house as the children made and hid cards. On the day itself I waited in bed for my breakfast and a pile of absolutely fabulous cards.

My daughter had made a couple of cards, one using our favorite pop-up card technique – she designed it and made it all on her own. Note the comment at the bottom about my hair!! Glad to report I safely at my bacon and eggs without any of it getting in my hair.

mothers-day-2010_bThe other card she made is a three fold card and decorated with gel pens, it really sparkles a lot which does not show up in the photo – heaps of work in it.

My son made a card at school tracing some lettering and shading it, but the inside of the card held a real treat – he had written a poem especially for the occasion …
The sunlight filters through
The blowing curtains blue
It drives open your weary eyes
You get up to see the sunrise
You check the clock its five past one (it was the only thing that rhymed with begun)
Meaning that mothers day has begun.

I love it, and the comment about what rhymed with begun was on the card too and we all had a good laugh about it.

Finally they had taken a concertina gift card I had made and added clues to where I could find some presents. I had to work out the code and then I could go on a present hunt. My presents were lots of fun, they had been to the supermarket and chosen things they thought I would like. Some interesting choices … curry mix, beef jerky, white chocolate, gherkins, anchovy stuffed olives, and feijoa tea!

We had a great day with lots of fun and laughter and I did not have to cook a single thing all day. Thanks to my family for a lovely day.

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Easy Pop-up Card
Apr 27th, 2010 by Craftylocks

pop-up flower card close-upPop-up section is a separate piece that has tabs and is glued on – nice and easy!

This pop-up card is a great craft for children to learn, it can be adapted to all sorts of themes. I love cards with flowers as they can be used for most occasions – and, well, when I am not crafting I love to garden!

The bits and pieces you need are lightweight card to make the basic card, and smaller bits of paper to create the pop-up and the flowers. The easy way to work out how to make the pop-up section is to make the width of the paper used a little bit smaller than the width of the card. Fold the paper in half and then fold each side in half again, all folds going the same way so you end up with a square shape. The two sides on the edges will be the tabs that are glued to the card.


shapes-flower-cardBefore gluing the tabs down, assemble the flowers and glue some of them to the inside of the pop-up section and some onto the card behind where the pop will go. You can just glue them all on the pop-up section. Make sure that the ones on the pop-up section stick straight up so that when the card is closed they do not get bent. A really simple way to make a flower for the cover of the card is to use layered shapes, I detail how to do this at Shapes Flower Picture.

Once I started making Mothers Day cards that children can make, I could not stop! The others I have made are listed – Mothers Day Cards

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Papier Mache Fridge Magnets
Apr 25th, 2010 by Craftylocks

papier-mache-fish3Great gift for children to make – recycles  materials so nothing to buy!

A gorgeous gift that recycles materials from home – and the little fish are useful too, for holding up notes and children’s artwork on the fridge door! All you need is newspaper, some bits of card – from old cereal boxes are fine, paints, glue and those free promotional fridge magnets some businesses give away.

papier-mache-fish2 papier-mache-fish

First make a paper pulp by soaking torn newspaper for a day, then drain the water and add some wallpaper paste. Mold the pulp onto some cardboard shapes and then once they are nice and dry, paint them! Glue magnets on to the back and then you can admire them on your fridge. It takes a few days with the soaking and drying, but lots of fun.

papier-mache2So much fun that I am making all sorts of  papier mache things – beads, brooches, pencil holder, crown, fish wall hangings, and I still have pulp left! I ended up with a lot of pulp as I was mixing in the paste while cooking dinner and answering questions about how to spell words – so slightly distracted I neglected to drain the water before adding the paste. Never one to waste soaked newspaper I kept adding paper napkins to soak up the extra liquid – and adding, and adding, and adding. Great though, we get to have a lot more papier mache fun!And if you ever find yourself with extra papier mache left over – pop some plastic wrap over it and store it in the fridge.

Now if I can just find a spot amongst all the drying sculptures I might be able to read the newspaper – before tearing it up to make some more!!

I have now made a Papier Mache Pulp Tutorial.

For more information about Papier Mache, check out my What is Papier Mache? article.

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Accordion Pop-up Card
Apr 21st, 2010 by Craftylocks

This uses a couple of paper crafts for children, both much easier to make than they look.

I have used lots of fun paper crafts in this card. Like all my favorite crafts, this one is easy to make but still has ‘wow’ factor. It is made up of a few elements. The first thing you need a piece of card or heavyweight paper that you make the accordion pleats in. Make the pleats by first folding the card in half, and then folding it back and forth from each side, ending up with the pleats inside the card. The pleats do not need to be very big, but you can make them bigger than I have.

accordian-cardOn my one I added a separate piece of card for the front and back, but you do not need to do this. I had to because I mucked up and used the wrong weight for the inside, it was too light weight to stand as a card, and also my flowers were poking out from the inside – whoops, but it looks great with my wee fix!

accordian-card-sideThen you just need something to attach to the pleats to pop-up when the card is opened. I had lots of little origami flowers that I had made that I needed to use – perfect! I made lots of flowers as they were also really easy and fun – if you want to make some of these check out the Origami Tulip Tutorial and Origami Stalk and Leaf Tutorial.

Something else I have done on this card that is effective and very easy to do, is to layer up a few shapes of decreasing size for putting the message on. It makes a big difference to the writing, it really frames it.

I found the idea for this card in a cool book by Sandi Genovese – Pop-Up Cards. I liked that it covers some basic concepts and shows lots of cool ways of using them. Some cards would be too tricky for kids to attempt on their own though. Templates at the back are supposed to be enlarged on a photocopier – I found them really useful as a guide for what I need to do but did not bother to copy them, that would be a pain.

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